Shane and Danae Walters Serving With Hope International Missions in Latin America
My wife and I recently stood with our families and the board of FEA Ministries during the final step of preparation for the mission field: commissioning. It is a precious time that signals the end of one journey and the beginning of a new one. As we close the chapters on our missionary preparation we look with expectancy toward the future. Allow me to share a little of that story and vision with you.
The manner of God’s call is not the same for everyone. From an early age, I loved to travel; I was fascinated by other cultures and studied foreign languages. It was only natural, then, that the call to full-time ministry led to an interest in foreign missions. The certainty of this call came later, following a youth missions trip to Romania. During that trip, God spoke to my heart about answering a more specific call to work overseas.
Through internships and other opportunities, God allowed me to travel extensively. I visited places like Albania, Kosovo, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Austria, Slovakia, Honduras, and Nicaragua. However, I lacked clarity regarding a specific place and type of ministry assignment. In the fall of 2016, I traveled to Honduras for an internship. Even though I had no previous interest in Spanish ministry, I began to see firsthand the needs of Latin America: churches without pastors; pastors without training and the proper resources; a lack of discipleship; and everywhere, a shortage of workers to accomplish these tasks. It was through these needs that God gave me a specific call to the Latin American region.
My wife Danae has been interested in missions since she was a little girl. She attended college as a Hispanic Missions major and fully intended to serve on a Spanish field somewhere. Our combined calls to the Latin world was one of the ways that God brought us together.
Our vision for Latin America is two-fold. First, we desire to address the need for pastoral leadership. Current churches will not be able to grow nor will new ones be started until national pastors are in place. Not only do we need pastors, but we need them to have a foundation in sound theology. Much of the Evangelical influence in Latin America is lacking in sound theology. As we train and mentor pastors, they will receive a solid, biblical foundation and the resources they need to pastor effectively.
As we train and mentor pastors, they will receive a solid, biblical foundation and the resources they need to pastor effectively.
Second, we desire to work in youth ministry throughout the entire region. Latin America is home to well over 150 million youth. In Mexico City, 48% of the metropolitan population of 20 million is age 21 or less. With few job opportunities, little education, and broken homes, many find a home in gangs or become a part of the drug culture. Our vision is to reach out to these youth with the Gospel, to disciple and mentor them, and to equip churches in Latin America to meet this need in their communities.
It is an incredible task—one that goes above and beyond our ability to fulfill. We pray that God uses us to fulfill the Great Commission by meeting these needs and that God uses our lives and our story to call new laborers into the harvest fields. The harvest fields in Latin America are white and ready for harvest. Who will join us?